Live media company Gravy has launched a nightly, app-based mobile shopping game show that allows audiences watching live via their iOS mobile devices to compete for discounts on products from sponsors and cash prizes, according to a Gravy press release.
Described by Gravy as "QVC meets Price is Right with a twist," the show uses a price dropping game format under which a product is offered for sale, allowing audience members to purchase it at any time as the prices gradually fall. Audience members can hold out for product discounts of between 30% and 70%, but they never know the quantity available and the game ends when the product inventory sells out, the company said.
Audience members are also eligible to win cash prizes with no purchase required when they compete at the beginning of the game to guess the percentage discount that triggers the product to sell out. A portion of the proceeds from every game are donated to charity, Gravy said.
Mobile shopping seems to be evolving in many different directions at the same time. Shoppers may visit mobile websites of retailers, they may shop through retailers' mobile apps, broader marketplaces or perhaps even payments partners of the retailers.
In that highly fragmented environment, shopping through a live mobile game show doesn't seem like such a crazy idea. In fact, Gravy's app and the suspenseful format of the game could invite a sense of urgency and competitiveness that is sometimes missing from mobile shopping experiences that are often interrupted or set aside before a purchase is made.
Gravy's app is in public beta at this point, but is already gaining notice among shoppers. The company said its nightly show audiences have grown more than 15% week over week (with at least 600 participants nightly, according to TechCrunch), and that more than 70% of users who watch one show come back to watch at least three shows each week for an average of seven to 12 minutes.
The show offers up a new product every night, giving viewers a reason to tune in. In that sense, it's not all that different from something like Amazon's Gold Box Deals, Woot! or other daily deals programs. Ultimately, Gravy may be closer to a brand marketplace or brand channel model, but one withholding just enough details from potential buyers to lend a treasure hunt atmosphere to mobile purchasing. All that's missing is Bob Barker (or, if you prefer, Drew Carey).